Monday, May 17, 2010

It's been a whole year since I posted. Hmmm..

OK, here's what happened. And...let me state at the outset that it was completely, unalterably, totally and undoubtedly my fault. (my husband insisted.)

We are getting ready for a garage sale. We packed stuff away last year, anticipating this, and I am unpacking all the stuff. I ran across a coffee urn that wasn't supposed to be in the garage sale, because I have used it periodically. However, it was gross inside, and I wasn't sure it could be saved, so I decided to run a cycle of water through it to see if it would clean up. I filled it with water, set it on my kitchen counter, plugged it in, and away it went. (this was....roughly 7:30.) I got busy, and completely forgot about it until about 9. I went down to check, and the thing was still perking away. (It's a 50 cup or so urn, so .... I thought to myself, "gosh, I need to remember that this thing takes forever the next time I use it.") I also decided (yep, thought about it and made the decision, hence the confession in the first few lines) that I would go ahead and let it finish. What's the worst that could happen? It would stay on hot all night? I'd check on it later. Eventually go to bed. Having trouble sleeping due to large quantities of allergy medication, but never thought about said coffee pot again.

FINALLY, go to sleep. Awakened by screaming smoke alarm!!!!! Confused. Now, we often set off the smoke alarm while cooking, so hearing it is not an uncommon experience. Being wakened...whole different thing. RACE downstairs. Note: my husband says before we even get out of our bedroom, "the coffeepot", and I know he's right. Second note: if you can't see anything without your glasses, its a good idea to put them on before racing around the house in the dark to see why the smoke alarm is going off.

Get to the kitchen. My husband heads straight for the basement to turn off the breaker. (Smoke alarms are hardwired, as well as battery operated, so this is the only way to silence them.) I head for coffee pot. DEFINITELY smell smoke, oh yes, you can see it gathered up along the ceiling, the smell is....well...awful. (you would think, with a decent vocabulary, I could think of a better word than that, but I can't.)

I lift up the urn, which is definitely smoking, and go to set it in the sink. There is a puddle of melted metal (?) underneath it on the counter. I flip this (with the hotpad that has somehow appeared in my hand) also into the sink. AND, there is a hole in my countertop. A hole.

I decide it is probably not a good idea for this to be sitting in my sink, so I grab the urn and head for the patio, dump it outside and return for the now somewhat hardened disk of metal and also throw this on the patio. Now my husband is present to see the nature of the problem. He is just looking at it, and at me, and back at it....and well, you can just insert your own verbage there.

For the record, he told me to go ahead and go back to bed, and he stayed up to open everything and let the worst of the smoke out. Although, perhaps he just didn't want to be anywhere near me at the time.

Good news: (yes, there is definitely good news, although I didn't think of it until later.) 1. Our smoke alarms worked exactly as they were supposed to. They went off with the smoke created by the coffee urn before it was actual flame, and woke us up. (KIDS SLEPT THROUGH THE WHOLE THING. NEVER EVEN STIRRED.) 2. It could have been SO much worse. That urn was still plugged into the wall. Whatever it was that melted could have sparked the electrical cord, and the fire could have been in the walls and all over our house..... or it could have sparked and caught the cabinets and stuff on fire. Could have been much, much worse.

Yesterday in Sunday school, we had to relate the modern convenience we would least like to give up, and at that time I said indoor plumbing. I still would least like to give up indoor plumbing, but operational smoke alarms are a very close second.

Here's some visual evidence...and I'm working on the solution to the hole in my countertop....any thots, let me know.